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Dublin: -1°C Sunday 24 January 2021

Leinster SHC expanding to 6 teams in 2021

As a result there will be no relegation from the province this season.

A general view of the 2020 GAA Congress.
A general view of the 2020 GAA Congress.
Image: Tom O'Hanlon/INPHO

THERE WILL BE no relegation in the Leinster senior hurling championship this season after Motion 59 was passed at Congress today. 

It will see a change in the promotion and relegation structure between the various tiers of the All-Ireland SHC with the aim of having six teams at each level for 2021.

Carlow, Laois, Westmeath, Offaly and Kilkenny all spoke in favour of the motion.

Restructuring of tiers will see six teams also competing in the McDonagh, Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard and Lory Meagher Cups next year. All tiers will then have one team getting promoted and relegated thereafter.

“There is a huge difference in the championship as it stands at the minute,” said Carlow chairman Sean Campion.

“If you take the five counties in Munster, they’re entrenched. The bottom team is not relegated. Whereas in Leinster with the five teams, the bottom team is relegated.

“If we persist with the grade as it is, we’re ending up with a yo-yo situation where teams are going up and down. You need at least two years at the highest level to improve.

“We want to Leinster championship to increase to six teams and that this year there would be no relegation and the Joe McDonagh champions would be that sixth team for 2021.”

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The motion proposing to reinstate the U18 age group as minor at inter-county level was withdrawn by Longford.

The motions to have the All-Ireland U20 football championship played in the months of February and March have also been withdrawn for further consideration.

Motions 39 to 43, which deal with the scheduling of the U20, third level and post-primary and All-Ireland JFC competitions, will be brought back in some other format for Special Congress later in the year after suggestions by former GAA presidents Nickey Brennan and Christy Cooney.

Motions were passed to establish an National Club Fixtures Oversight Committee which has the power to disqualify counties from championships if they don’t submit their complete fixtures lists by the end of January each year. There’s also potential financial penalites for non-compliance. 

The committee will have also have responsibility for approving county club fixture programmes on an annual basis and ensuring county club fixture programmes are consistent with the Association’s rules and policies.

Motion 44 was also successful, which effectively gives Central Council the power to determine the inter-county closed season and return to collective training periods on a year-to-year basis.

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien  / Reports from Croke Park

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